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December Gabriel’s Horn | December 16 Weekly Newsletter

Mission & Identity

We are a UCC congregation in the heart of Washington, D.C., led by the Spirit and in covenant with God and each other.  We seek to understand and experience God and respond to the call of Christ as reflected in our heritage and today’s experiences.

We welcome people of all ages, abilities, racial and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities, and beliefs to share and grow in faith through worship, prayer, education, mutual support, and social action.

In so doing, by God’s grace, we nourish each other, embrace spiritual transformation, stand for justice and peace, and strive to heal our city, nation, and the world.

Read more about our church in the profile we wrote for our 2017 search for a senior pastor here.

At First Congregational United Church of Christ of Washington, DC we assert that community responsibilities and steadfast love balance autonomy and freedom. We affirm that faith and life are nourished by “covenants,” beginning with God’s covenant with Noah, Abraham, Moses, enriched by a new covenant in Jesus Christ, and sustained by mutual covenants we strive to keep with each other.

As a Congregational Church founded in 1865 we have been deeply involved in the history of Washington, DC. Click here to read the centennial history of the church.

As part of a national denomination known as the United Church of Christ we remain deeply rooted in history and at the same time we engage the future to explore new forms of faithfulness.

We do not all agree, however we know that community is important and we come together to keep each other grounded in times of stress and receptive to the wonder of life in times of joy.

  • Preachers share insights and challenges based on scripture texts
  • Bible study sessions foster discussions among small groups
  • Educational programs introduce children and youth to Biblical stories and values
  • Music stretches our understandings beyond words
  • Prayers share concerns and celebrations
  • Our community is bound together by covenants
  • We have courage to doubt, and we have confidence that God is still speaking
  • We are in covenant with others through the United Church of Christ
  • We come together through covenants, not because we agree on doctrines
  • We consider “faith” a verb rather than a noun, a journey rather than a destination

We have taken “stands” around specific issues. Founded in 1865 by abolitionists as the first racially integrated church in Washington, we have publicly sustained long standing commitments to racial justice. We are an “open and affirming church” (ONA), welcoming LGBTQ friends and supporting marriage equality. We are a “just peace church,” committed to peace with justice. We are a people aspiring to be a “multiracial, multicultural church,” celebrating diversity and building bridges in our diverse society.

Open and Affirming

In 1973, First Church voted to enter into covenant with, and serve as host church for the Washington Metropolitan Community Church or MCC (a church that ministers predominantly to the GLBT community). That decision cost us some members well before the wider religious community took on this issue. In 1987 we formally became an Open and Affirming (ONA) church in the United Church of Christ. Read our Open and Affirming Statement.

Just Peace Church

In 1985 First Church voted be a Just Peace Church, focusing on the ways justice and peace are related to a range of issues, such as political struggles in Latin America and South Africa, race relations in the U.S., struggles for economic justice, and arms control. Read our Statement on Being a Just Peace Church.

A Multiracial Multicultural Church

In 2003, after a prolonged study, First Church voted to affirm a vision to become a more Multiracial Multicultural Church. Read our Multiracial and Multicultural Vision.